By Robert Frank
Laval announced last week that four teams of builders have bid on the contract to construct the proposed 10,000-seat Place Bell amphitheatre that will also comprise a 2,500-seat Olympic size ice rink and a 500-seat community rink.
Each of the four qualified bidders, Astaldi Canada, Groupe Complex Laval–Verrault, Magil-QMD and Pomerleau 3 cadences consists of a consortium of five to seven construction-related firms that have banded together to try to win the construction contract.
Last month, The Suburban reported that the estimated cost of the project had soared from $156 million to $200 million.
“[Place Bell] is a good project that will bring economic benefits to the city, but people need to know the cost,” Mayor Marc Demers said last month when he announced that projected price tag for the facility had jumped 28 per cent.
“All their proposals have been submitted,” city spokeswoman Nadine Lussier told The Suburban. “We’ve now entered the analysis phase where we’ll review all the bids according to the various criteria. We ought to know who the winning bidder will be by midsummer.”
“It was a long and complex process,” she said in an interview. “Major projects comprise so many components that you cannot just say ‘Give us a final proposal by June. 1.’ You have to work with the qualified [consortia] and provide them with the information that they need to do their own work in order to submit a bid.”
Lussier explained that Laval has enlisted the expertise of the provincial infrastructure agency Société québécoise des infrastructures (SQI).
“They have been involved in the entire qualification and bidding stages because they have amazing expertise managing major infrastructure projects,” she said. “They are actually in charge of the whole [tender] process, including the next [analysis] phase.”
“SQI conducted multiple workshops on different topics last fall and winter,” Lussier added, “such as architecture, electrical requirements and other components of the project. [The consortia] were able to ask questions and receive answers that enabled them to submit their final bid.”
As the Quebec election campaign reached a crescendo last month, Councillor Vasilios Karidogiannis told The Suburban that it is time for the provincial government to step up and contribute to the project.
“They paid half the cost of building similar sports complexes in Quebec City and Trois Rivières,” he complained. “We deserve to be treated equally.”
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